Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Saturday Survey - DECEMBER 1st

11-30-68 - WLAM - Lewiston, Maine   

Despite being Maine's second largest city today, it boasts a population of about 36,000. It is part of Maine's "Twin Cities" as only the Androscoggin River separates Lewiston from Auburn (23,000).  Lewiston, like last week's Springfield, dates to the 17th century (1669) for its founding date.  Survey styles have been talked of in FH throughout this year and here's another where the weekly rundown is printed with a mimeograph machine, likely, at the station.  You'll note that many of these charting records were also on WHYN's from last week.  The two cities were only 200+ miles apart, so regional hits could stretch a ways.  I've selected two Pick Hits for my obscure tracks.  

The Equals' "Softly, Softly" was an INSTANT fave when I first recorded it off WKYC 50 years ago.  Despite being another VERY powerful outing and followup to their smash, "Baby Come Back," Eddie Grant's hot UK band could not chart with this true winner.  

Despite a decade long run of hits for Atco, Capitol and Atlantic Records, Bobby Darin's life was in turmoil (check previous FH story) in 1968 after witnessing Robert Kennedy's assassination on June 4 of that year.  Darin decided he needed to start his own label, Direction Records, to promote artists who were, as he put it, "statement-makers."  Despite this nice opening label release, "Long Line Rider," did not bring hits to the label and it folded within two years with Darin signing to Motown.
-- Clark Besch

11/26/68 - Cream play their final two farewell concerts at Royal Albert Hall in London.  Over 10,000 fans attend, many of whom chant “God Save The Cream” throughout the show.  Guitarist Eric Clapton and Drummer Ginger Baker will go on to form a new band (with Steve Winwood on keyboards and Rich Grech on bass) called Blind Faith, but it will only last thru one album.

11/27/68 – Steppenwolf’s first album (containing the hits “Born To Be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride”) is certified gold.

12/1/68 - Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (“My Favorite Things” and “The Christmas Song”), Engelbert Humperdinck (“Les Bicyclettes de Belsize”) and Tiny Tim (“Great Balls Of Fire”) are all musical guests on tonight’s edition of The Ed Sullivan Show.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thursday This And That

It looks like Me-TV-FM dropped .01 … but went up to #10! Danny
Clearly nobody knows what to make of the format ... it seems like they classify it differently every time!  (lol)  That’s because there isn’t anything else like it on the radio today … it’s in a class by itself. 
This one, however, couldn't be further from the mark ... it would truly mislead a “newcomer” looking for Chicago radio choices off the mark … even "soft rock oldies" would make for a better description!  (But then again there’s that dreaded “oldies” word again!)
I listened to the station for over twelve hours yesterday ... it is still the best variety of music on the dial here in Chicago.  On Tuesday I heard eight AC/DC songs in eight hours on The Drive ... ten by Led Zeppelin ... eight by the Rolling Stones ... six by Aerosmith ... four by Boston ... and TEN by Jimi Hendrix.  It's almost like they pulled a dozen CD's off the shelf and used that as their programming guide for the day ... and they're ranked #6!!!!!  Go figure.  (Hey, I love these guys … but I just can’t believe that this is what their listeners really want to hear!!!)  kk 

BTW:  Watch for WLIT's ratings to go thru the roof now that their 24/7 Christmas programming has started ... some of their numbers last year were unthinkable!!!  (kk)


SEP 18
OCT 18
NOV 18
All News
Mexican Regional
Urban AC
Classic Hits
Hot AC
Classic Rock
Soft AC
News Talk Info.

And, speaking of radio choices ...

>>>This is the final straw for me as far as Sirius XM is concerned.  Unless they are planning on making me an offer so unbelievably good that I couldn’t possibly refuse in December when my current subscription runs out, I have absolutely no intention of renewing for another year.  (And by incredibly unbelievable, I mean like $5 - $6 per month … their website shows prices as high as $275 per year for some of their services!!!)  kk 
Sirius will come down to $6 a month (I’m paying $5 now) but expecting a bump to $6.  
George Elhert

Why should anyone be surprised that Sirius is raising subscriptions? Like any conglomerate, the subscribers ALWAYS foot the bill for cost increases.
Use the power to keep your wallet shut and UNSUBSCRIBE.  I would never pay for any mainstream format broadcasting.  Lots of cool stuff to hear is available for free via podcasts and stations that stream content online.  I'd rather hear a few commercials than have to fork over $$$ every month for Sirius. I hope they eventually tank like the Titanic.
As for this old music = preference for nostalgia held viewpoint, well, in my mind that just proves whomever speaks / thinks it is a musical ignoramus.
I do not like any current popular music.  Why? Because it doesn't move me or interest me.  At ALL. There is so much music recorded years ago (decades) that is far more to my liking.  I was born in 1963, and my favorite musical era is the mid to late 1960s. So much diversity and, unlike most radio chart fans who usually limit their preferences to Billboard Top 100 tunes, I also explore vast non-charted releases in most genres. I DJ 45s in clubs in the New York City area when I can, and the kids (yes, the 20 & 30-somethings) who attend a '60's garage / pysch themed night, or a '60s soul music event do not want to hear the well-known "oldies hits". Nope, they know of and are familiar with songs that are obscure to most everyone who is a mainstream radio / music fan.  1,000s of 'never charted anywhere' 45s that remain obscure and unknown to even people aged 60 - 70+, as the songs were recorded back when they themselves were kids or teenagers.
Oldies But Goodies is a handy radio industry format catchphrase, but in my opinion, it degrades the music to mere nostalgia or the sickening malt shop memories syndrome held by aged folks who value the memory brought back by a song of a past era, instead of enjoying the song purely on its own merit.  I'm not saying one cannot have a memory attachment, but to continually push (market) music from the 60's, for example, as "oldies" sucks the life out of the any song. Whenever I spin a 45 rpm record on my hi-fi from 1966, hell, I'm not thinking of where I was or what I was doing when I first heard it.  Ditto for 1976 45’s.
Today, younger people have no memory attachment to an older piece of music, so for them to learn and appreciate songs that you and I champion, one cannot continue to equate memories to the music of the past. For you (we) will all be dead someday, and who will care about malt shop memories? Ha! My personal mantra: It doesn't matter WHEN a piece of music was recorded - it only matters how it affect you NOW.  Do people who listen to classical music by Brahms or Beethoven think in terms of nostalgia?
Lastly, Classic Rock is the primary reason I ditched (then ) current music (late 1970s) and went exploring older musical genres. I can turn on a classic rock format station here locally right now on FM and it sounds exactly like it did during 1979, the same limited selection, overplayed songs sprinkled in with other post '70s songs. Dullsville. Seems a lot of folks like dullsville.
Mike Markesich

I’ve been told many times that I have a face MADE for radio!!!  (lol)  kk

Every time they announce another tour, I'm reminded of Mick's 1969 interview when he said "I'd rather be dead than singing "Satisfaction" when I'm 45." 
David Lewis

And, speaking of upcoming tours …

Hey Buddy:
Dr. Hook is beginning a European Tour celebrating their 50th anniversary. I don't know how feasible it is but you seem to have Ron Onesti's ear. What would you think about him booking them sometime in 2019 if at all possible?
Keep Rockin'
Jim Nowoc
I dunno ...
Did you check out their website?
Dennis Locorriere is the only original member and I believe Ray Sawyer handled most of their lead vocals.
The couple of tunes they feature snippets of are their absolute least-known "hits" (if #71 counts as a hit) ... and they didn't sound all that good to me.
That being said, I see that they have already sold out several shows overseas ... and when I first got your email I thought it would be GREAT to finally see them, as I've never had the pleasure before.
I just wish it was a bit of a more "authentic" version of the band that was hitting the road.
I’m still happy to give them a mention ... but I'm not so sure I can give them a recommendation based on what I’ve seen so far.  (kk)  
I just worked out for an hour listening to Dr. Hook’s Greatest Hits. What an incredible array of classic tuneage and they still didn't have time to cover it all.
If memory serves me well, Locorriere shared lead vocals with Sawyer.
If "authentic" means not paying props to a Dr.Hook band fronted by the founder of the group {a show that appears to be enjoying sell out after sell out}, then it's time to challenge the authenticity of Duke Fakir's Four Tops, The Otis Williams Temps, The Harold Winley Clovers, the Charlie Thomas Drifters, Little Anthony and Ernest Wright’s Imperials, The Skyliners, The Duprees, Jay and the Americans without Kenny Vance and either of the original Jays.
Not one original Grass Root can be found … There are no original Raiders or Coasters ... only one Four Prep, one Letterman.
We have the Juniors without Danny and Creedence Revisited without John Fogerty and John without Clifford and Cook.
Peter without Gordon … Jeremy without Chad … and we haven't even gotten to Frankie Valli, Randy Bachman, et al.
How about the Turtles, the Spoonful or the Byrds?
The list is endless … and the reason is attrition.
Authenticity is reflected when any of the artists who originally performed in a memorable group surrounds themselves with talented musicians who replicate and in many cases even duplicate the sound of one of our cherished groups.  Then, out of respect for us, don't stray from those familiar arrangements that we grew to love. 
As for me, if Ron is fortunate enough to book the Dr. Hook 50th Anniversary Tour, I hope I can be first in line to purchase a ticket with full knowledge that this is going to be as authentic as it can get. And I'll be standing with the rest of the sold out audience respecting Dennis' contributions to Pop / Rock Music that started 50 Years Ago.
Heck, maybe I'll get to write a review.
Best to you and yours during the up-coming Holiday Season.
Your Buddy,
Jim Nowoc
We’ve addressed the issue numerous times now … and I agree with you that as long as the music is accurately presented with fine musicianship and affection, we have little choice left other than to enjoy the opportunities we have to keep this music vital and alive.  (And I’m sure I’d be right there with you at a Dr. Hook show at The Arcada if such an event can be pulled off.)  I just think they could have done a FAR better job of marketing their 50th Anniversary Tour by concentrating on the hits that people know and love … rather than the obscure ditties they included in their website videos.  (And 50 years is pushing it a bit … that may be when the band first formed … but they didn’t have their first chart hit until “Sylvia’s Mother” went to #1 (in Cash Box) in 1972.  That being said, Dr. Hook hit The Top Ten a total of seven times on the national charts with classics like “The Cover Of ‘Rolling Stone’” (#4, 1973); their great cover of the Sam Cooke classic “Only Sixteen” (#5, 1976); “A Little Bit More” (#9, 1976); “Sharing The Night Together” (#4, 1978); “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman” (#4, 1979) and “Sexy Eyes” (#3, 1980).  (kk)

Just announced:  Styx is coming to The Genesee Theatre on February 9th.  Now THAT’S a show I’d really like to see!  (Can you believe that this Chicago Boy has never seen Styx in concert?!?!?  Dennis DeYoung, yes … but THESE are the guys I wanna see!)  kk

11/28/18 – It’s Double Orlando Day
Scott Shannon is broadcasting from Universal, Orlando – Florida, for the rest of the week … and today his guest will be Tony Orlando.
Good week to be somewhere warm!!!
Tony and the reunited Dawn will be at The Arcada Theatre on December 11th for a Christmas Show that’ll also feature them performing many of their greatest hits.
This is one I’m really hoping to attend.
We’ve seen Tony a couple of times now ... but this particular show with the two original girls promises to be something very special.
The trio had FOUR #1 Hits in a five year period from 1970 – 1975 … “Candida” (1970); “Knock Three Times” (1971); “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree” (1973) and “He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You)”, 1975.  (kk)

OK, I know I said I wouldn't ... but there are a few of these that I just HAD to share …   

20 years ago today!
Thank you for your continued support, Kent.  
Micky Dolenz

Congratulations, Kent!
Good advice about making FH a daily habit. I've been doing just that since I rediscovered your site a few weeks ago.
About the lack of "20 songs"...
Kenny Rogers put out a beautiful single in the late 80s called "Twenty Years Ago" … appropriately enough about the passage of time. Worth a listen.
And I will use this space to lodge one helpful suggestion ... sometimes the font colors don't always show up on the chosen background ... I find myself skimming through stuff that's not easy to read. Other than that, keep up the great work! I plan not to forget Forgotten (Hits, that is).
Kenny’s “non-hit” “Twenty Years Ago” is a personal favorite and I have featured this one a few times now in Forgotten Hits … a GROSSLY under-appreciated track that pulls at the heart-strings every time I hear it.  (The video is pretty good, too.)

I think the display thing may be more on your end.  (Are you reading it on a cell phone device?)  We paste directly to a 100% white background, which is how it appears on the physical website … but I have seen some cell phone views that add a fairly dark gray background … as far as I know, that’s a display setting that you can fix on your end.  Anybody else able to weigh in on this one?  Let us know … obviously our goal is to make access to FH as easy and seamless as possible!  Thanks, Sam!  (kk) 

Congratulations on nineteen years of doing Forgotten Hits, Kent!
I wish I had seen it earlier than I did, but fortunately I did find it … albeit I don’t remember when.
I am reading today that Gerry of the Pacemakers is retiring to spend more time with his family. Another end of an era. 
Take care, 
Rockin’ Lord Geoff (In England) 
That’s one of the cool things about the website … you can click back and see EVERY posting from the past 10+ years on the site.  (So if you’re ever really bored ….)
Thanks, Geoff!  (kk) 

I am a little bit late to the party in getting my response to you on your FH 20th, but many congrats to you AND thanks!  You have given ME access to many of my fave artists over the years and emailing with some of the WLS greats is too unbelieveable.  At the same time, you give me a soapbox to air my thoughts and share my collection with many who would never hear or see MOST of the stuff I send in ever.  It makes my day to read items from the artists and fans like me who appreciate YOUR work and old hits and NON-hits and especially the Chicago area stuff that I grew up with and collect to this day.
WLSClark Besch 

Kent –
Congratulations and thank you for Forgotten Hits - a very necessary voice.
David Salidor